Review: Rise to Remain – City of Vultures

Rise to Remain are a Metal band from London, UK, more often known as ‘that band led by Bruce Dickinson’s son’. Despite some critics arguing the band have risen to fame due to vocalist Austin Dickinson’s rich and famous father, Rise to Remain have still received rave reviews for their live performances as well as their first 3 EPs, even winning some awards along the way.

Last week the band released their debut album, City of Vultures, and Dose of Metal has the only verdict you’re ever going to need. Make the mother-fucking jumpalump for my review of one of Britain’s fastest rising Metal bands.

Rise to Remain – City of Vultures

1. Intro – 0:51
2. The Serpent – 3:36
3. This Day Is Mine 3:19
4. City Of Vultures – 5:00
5. Talking In Whispers – 4:07
6. God Can Bleed – 3:46
7. Power Through Fear – 3:51
8. Nothing Left – 3:05
9. We Will Last Forever – 4:14
10. Illusions – 4:07
11. Roads – 4:19
12. Bridges Will Burn – 5:08

They say first impressions are very important, so just what are my first impressions by looking at the album cover? Well it looks perhaps a little too generic and Metalcore like in style. I can’t let that shadow my judgement though, so on with the review.

City of Vultures begins with one of those pretentious minute long intro tracks, that really doesn’t do much for the listener, but thankfully it isn’t too long before the real music begins. Second track, ‘The Serpent’ begins with heavy riffage, and grunting reminiscent of Randy of Lamb of God. There’s little in the way of melody, but it isn’t long before that completely changes. Before even the 30 second mark, cleanly sung vocals are pushed to the forefront and and a huge chorus enters at around 45 seconds in, with simple guitar harmonies sweeping back and forth. Musically, it’s anthemic with emo-esque vocals. Unfortunately it’s all incredibly generic for a band that I have been hearing so much praise about. Nothing as a whole impresses me quite yet, and the growls are too incoherent and indecipherable for me to care much for them. That’s not to say the song is bad per-say, but it’s short of being anything stunning.

Other tracks shift between obvious Metalcore influences and straight Groove influences from bands like Pantera and Lamb of God. When the band are too cheesy, for example on third track, ‘This Day is Mine’, and fifth track ‘Talking in Whispers’, there’s nothing to really help the band to stand out from the other bands in the genre. These two in particular could be old Bullet for My Valentine b-sides. Couple this with the fact that bands like Bullet for My Valentine make me want to punch myself in the balls, and you have one very good reason why I was tempted to stop playing the album. Fortunately, however, not all the songs are that bad…

Some songs, although still ‘commercial’ in style, are very well written, with enough interesting hooks to keep me listen. The title-track is intense and catchy, with enough variation and vocal dynamics to keep it interesting. The constant shifts between growls and singing works well on this song, which is backed by some strong instrumentals. The song ‘City of Vultures’ is shamelessly ‘Metalcore’, but it certainly presents promise and is written well when compared to many of Rise to Remain‘s contemporaries. Eighth track, ‘Nothing Left’, is also incredibly catchy and well written and displays more of the band’s strengths as songwriters.

Overall, Rise to Remain still have a long way to go. City of Vultures is undeniably Metalcore and catchy, but if the band wish to really push themselves and stand out from the Bullet for My Valentines, Funeral for a Friends and Triviums of the music world, there is still work to be done. The majority of the album is very ‘samey’ in its approach, and although there are some highlights, many of the tracks are just too generic, with the band obviously still wearing their influences on their sleeves. The eleventh (and oddly not final) track, ‘Roads’ displays some variation, with the band opting to write a ballad, but ultimately it is as flawed as many of the other songs on the album. It’s not all bad, but ultimately it’s not great either. Despite this, Rise to Remain are still young and have time to adapt, develop and construct their own sound. Time will tell if they do.

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